Introduction: LEGO Nintendo 64 Transformers
Created specifically for the Toy Brick Contest in the summer of 2013, I present to you my latest LEGOformers: Ultra Hexacon and Tetragon, the transforming Nintendo 64 and controller, along with their transforming game pak minions Hot-Shot, and Mecha Kong! These original LEGO models are made in near-perfect size and proportions to authentic N64 components, and can transform completely — by “transform completely”, I mean each robot can transform from N64 accessory to robot and back without detaching/removing parts, with the exception of Tetragon’s controller cord. Ultra Hexacon is to this date, my most durable and articulated Transformer model built, with great flexibility and joint strength; he can also stand and be posed without falling over or having pieces break off. With the exception of the custom stickers/labels, every single piece in these toys are 100% LEGO — bricks, plates, slopes, tiles, wedges, and Technic parts. No glue, paint, cutting, nor 3rd party custom pieces.
As with previous LEGOformers, there were multiple engineering obstacles; Ultra Hexacon’s first issue was coming up with a transformation cycle that didn’t involve the cartridge slot appearing where his rar-end would be in robot mode, so that games could slide into his chest like Soundwave or Blaster (as opposed to be inserted like a suppository). Building the head was a challenge, and one particular idea was to have his head remove and transform into a Rumble Pak, like a Transformers Headmaster toy — or even adding a slot for the N64 Expansion Pak that would either double as a head or a weapon! Hexacon’s transformation cycle was based off an Autobot cassette named Eject — a favorite toy of mine as a kid, and his physical appearance was intended originally to be a blend between Ultra Magnus and Metroplex — but ended up looking more like a hybrid of Fortress Maximus or Generation 2 “tank” Megatron. His base color is dark grey like the N64 console, and his secondary color scheme represents the colors of the N64 logo, sans gold. Ultra Hexacon’s power supply pack transforms into a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher, with Tetragon’s memory card doubling as an ammo magazine for Hexacon’s shoulder weapon!
The games and controller took the longest to make. In fact, Mecha Kong was almost scrapped entirely, as the method of making his arms bigger than this legs to create the ape-like appearance took quite a long time to figure out. Tetragon (the controller) was originally intended to be an anthropomorphic robot and not an animal, but after days of trying to make a transformation cycle with failed results, I opted to make him turn into a scorpion — which personally looks a lot more badass yet quirky — almost like Beast Wars! Tetragon’s controller cord is made from a rare elongated Technic pneumatic rubber hose piece. Hot-Shot, the GoldenEye 007 cartridge was supposed to be Hexacon’s gun (like Megatron’s gun mode being used by Starscream) — with the possibility of him being a Triplechanger — gun, robot, and game — but ended up being too big to fit in his hands. Some games that were conceptualized but scrapped were “Cruiser”, a Crusi’n USA cartridge that transforms into a car, “Shadow”, a Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire game that changes into a Stormtrooper, and multiple bird/plane robots that would either change into Star Fox 64, Pilotwings 64 or Chopper Attack. Also, I did in fact completely build a transforming robot version of Link that changed into a golden Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time cartridge — BUT, unfortunately right before the photo shoot I ran into a few errors with his size and sticker placement, thus I omitted him with the intention of possibly displaying him again in the future, once I’ve made the necessary repairs; in fact, I was hoping to include him to show my respect for fellow Zelda aficionados like myself!
What’s in a name? “Hexacontatetragon" is the proper nomenclature for a 64-sided polygon, and Nintendo 64 being the first 3D polygon-based Nintendo system with 64-bit graphics, the names "Hexacon" and "Tetragon" (the robot and the scorpion) merge as a gestalt when transformed — both physically and in name! The word "Ultra" in the title is an homage to the Nintendo 64’s original name of "Ultra 64" before its North American release.
- Baron von Brunk